291. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 7[–8] March 1798 *
March 7th 98. being the day appointed for a Fast.
My dear Harry
If, as I am apprehensive, my letter inclosing a two pound bill did not reach Burnett, you are ignorant that it is my intention to visit Yarmouth at the end of May, & pass a fortnight with you. how I shall arrange my march remains to be settled, & I must consult the map, as if it be not too far out of the road I should like to see Amos Cottle at Cambridge on the way. of this however more in due season.
We are now at Bristol, on Kingsdown Parade, within a few doors of the Montague.  you will direct to Cottles, altering however his direction to Wine Street, as he this day removes to the house which Wade last inhabited.  in consequence of this revolution, he gives up the house in the Barton. this is news for Burnett, tho it may not interest you.
My book  is now rapidly advancing & the first volume will be finished within a week. when it is compleated I shall make up a parcel, & I hope to get the books from the Green by that time. I have Livy & Herodian & (I believe) Velleius Paterculus.  What book are you now reading? by that time Jardines sermons  will be published, & I suppose Burnett will chuse to have them. As a “lucid piece of mystical divinity” I may venture, without having yet seen it, to recommend him a sermon upon the last verse of the first chapter of Matthew by ––– Gilbert, now in the press.  Lloyds book  will also be compleated. so that you will have a respectable cargo. Lloyd has begun another novel,  also in Letters. he tells me that one only character is introduced in it, & that it will more resemble Werter  than any other book. In that stile of writing, in anatomizing the feelings, I believe Lloyd will exceed any writer that this country has ever produced. & perhaps – almost equal Goethe & Rousseau. Lamb has written a little tale, about one volume full – of which I only know that it is very dismal & called Rosamund Grey. 
Is there a book society at Yarmouth like that of which Estlin Danvers & the Morgans are members? if not I think Burnett would do well in setting some such scheme on foot, & I will send them <him> the regulations of the Bristol one. Mr Pitt  means to tax printing. this is part of his plan to check the diffusion of information & it cannot be too vigorously counteracted.
I know not whether a little Bristol tittle-tattle may be news to Burnett – however let it go. John Morgan is to be married to Caroline Kiddell.  poor Gilbert is deplorably in love with one of the daughters of that Wainhouse  whose poems are to be found in Burnetts Library, he says “she has a greater compass of mind than any woman he ever conversed with. She ridicules him I understand. A debating society meet every Saturday night at the Red Lodge, the members are respectable, & Gilbert the Cicero  of the forum. I have never visited them yet, nor shall I speak when I go. I do not like these societies, they only encourage vanity & excite bad feelings. When you ridicule the arguments of another you injure him & yourself.
I ought to have written to you before – but my leisure time is little, & no man wants more leisure than myself. the idea of visiting Yarmouth pleases me much. I have not shaken Burnett by the hand since August 1796. I hope I look forward to having a house in London in the course of the winter as a possible thing; so I hope George will be in town to assist my taste in fitting it up, & fill the friends bed. this is possible, & if the possibility shall not be destroyed by any relaxation of exertion on my part. To live always in lodgings is very expensive & very uncomfortable; I want to feel at home, & to have a home for my friends.
Have you written any themes yet? of course I mean English th[MS torn] of all exercises I look upon this as the most useful. facility of composition is useful in every possible situation.
My Uncle Hill has been in England. he came however no farther than Falmouth, & merely to recover his health by the effect of a voyage, for he had been some time unwell. he wishes Tom to get on the Lisbon station, & if Tom chuses to go, Lord Proby will take him over. I have written him word of this, & he will determine as his judgment thinks best.
Edith is better. our love to Burnett. write soon. [MS missing]
* Address: To / Henry Herbert Southey/ with the Reverend George Burnett Yarmouth./
Postmark: B/MR/ 9/ 98
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Don. d. 3. AL; 4p.
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp. 161–163.
Dating note: 7 March 1798 was a Wednesday. The letter was completed the following day. BACK
 Possibly a relative of the Bristol merchant George Kiddell. Southey’s information was incorrect: Morgan eventually married Mary Brent. However, Morgan’s connections with the Kiddell family continued and in 1815, a George Kiddell assisted him in the negotiations over the publication of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria (1817). BACK
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